The third wave of COVID has only just started in India, and the daily COVID count has already crossed one lakh.
On top of this, there are also reports of the Omicron variant causing more severe illness in children as compared to Delta and other previous variants.
In such a situation, along with worry, many questions come up among parents, including,
How to protect your kids from COVID-19? What precautions should be taken if a child has COVID? What to do in case of emergency?
To answer these questions and more, spoke to Dr Vineet Parmar, Director and Head, Pediatric, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.
What are some essential COVID-19 precautions that children should be made to follow?
Teach children the importance of wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands from time to time. As much as possible, avoid going to crowded places.
It isn't enough that kids are made to follow these rules, though. The whole family must follow the given guidelines to avoid COVID.
Which subset of children is at a higher risk?
Children who are immunocompromised and have comorbidities like cancer, thalassemia, diabetes, leukemia, and HIV are at a higher risk of developing serious illness.
How can I tell the difference between COVID-19 and the flu?
The symptoms of both the flu and COVID-19 may overlap and it can be difficult to tell them apart by symptoms alone.
So, if you or your child is experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms, its best to get tested to be sure.
Moreover, if someone has come in contact with a COVID infected person, then the chances of getting the virus increases.
When should the COVID test be done?
If the child has a fever and someone else in the house is showing symptoms of COVID, then definitely get the test done.
How do I treat COVID-19 illness in children?
COVID-19 treatment for children is essentially symptomic management.
In most cases, complaints of cold-cough and fever have been seen, for which paracetamol can be given. So far children have mild COVID cases.
Which symptoms of COVID are most common among kids in the third wave?
High fever with a runny nose, cough, and other cold-like symptoms are the most common.
My child is COVID positive. What should I be feeding them?
There is no restriction in eating and drinking, it is very important for the child to stay hydrated.
Keep giving nutritious food, water, ORS, coconut water, juice, and soup.
How many days does one need to stay in isolation if they are COVID positive or suspected to be infected?
According to the new guidelines, anyone who has asymptomatic or mild COVID should remain in isolation for a minimum of 7 days.
What to do if my child is COVID positive without symptoms?
In this case, no treatment is required. Keep the child in isolation for 7 days, follow other COVID guidelines, and monitor their condition.
When should you seek medical help?
Seek emergency medical assistance if the child,
Is coughing a lot
Has persistent fever for over 3 days
Oxygen saturation drops below 95 in room air
Can fully vaccinated people at home get COVID from a child?
Yes, you need to be careful and follow all COVID appropriate behaviour even if you are vaccinated.
COVID-19 Vaccines help protect us from the severe illness and death. But breakthrough infections are common, especially with the Omicron variant.